Slate Readers Love Cheesy TV Theme Songs, Opening Sequences Featuring Modes of Transportation

Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 18 2010 5:37 PM

Slate Readers Love Cheesy TV Theme Songs, Opening Sequences Featuring Modes of Transportation

Last week, in my storyabout the TV theme tunes of fall 2010 , I asked readers to name theirfavorites. Judging from the many and varied responses, Slate commenters are nostalgicfor the '70s and '80s, the glory days of long, bombastic opening sequences. toledohamradio asked, "What's wrongwith the 55-second theme song to give you time to grab a snack and a beverageand hum along?"

Never mind humming along, many of the themes that receivedmultiple nominations could be karaoked, since they're real songs, with lyrics and everything. One of the most frequently praised was The Greatest American Hero , a show I'venever seen. Of course, as soon as I checked it out, I recognized the tune .

June Thomas June Thomas

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 

Advertisement

hat1521 conjured up the sentimental side of TV themes: "I watched Cheers with my dad when I was little. I loved the theme song, but it always made me sad for some reason."

Among current network shows, Fringe and Chuck receivedseveral shout-outs, and in premium cable land True Blood got lotsof love, but the most popular contemporary openers were Barenaked Ladies' song for BigBang Theory ...

.. and the Friendly Indians' "I Know You Know" used in Psych . Severalreaders mentioned the coolvariations on that theme. Here's the version used for the Season 4 episode "BollywoodHomicide"

If you look at a lot of opening sequences in a short period,you realize how many feature modes of transportation and moving vehicles. See,for example,

Welcome Back, Kotter

Taxi

And, of course, The Streets of San Francisco (love the spoken credits)

Of course, not everyone likes a long theme tune. As Andy Joeobserved, "If it sucks or is uninspired, it might as well be short." Although Maude , one of mypersonal favorites, received several nominations, The Family Guy proved that big isn'talways beautiful.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

The Ludicrous Claims You’ll Hear at This Company’s “Egg Freezing Parties”

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM Going Private To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 1 2014 10:49 AM James Meredith, Determined to Enroll at Ole Miss, Declares His Purpose in a 1961 Letter
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 10:54 AM “I Need a Pair of Pants That Won’t Bore Me to Death” Troy Patterson talks about looking sharp, flat-top fades, and being Slate’s Gentleman Scholar.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 10:44 AM Everyone’s Favorite Bob’s Burgers Character Gets a Remix You Can Dance to
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 10:27 AM 3,000 French Scientists Are Marching to Demand More Research Funding
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.